Biden shares Fourth of July message focusing on racism: 'We have a chance to live up to the words that founded this nation'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJill Biden campaigns for McAuliffe in Virginia Fill the Eastern District of Virginia  Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted MORE made race a central theme of his July Fourth message as the country grapples with widespread unrest over systemic racism and police brutality.

Speaking to the camera interspersed with video of past civil rights struggles, Biden said the country has not lived up to its creed — noting centuries of racism, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the killing of George Floyd in May — but that the U.S. is primed for a change. 

“Our country was founded on an idea: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ We’ve never lived up to it. Jefferson himself didn’t. He held slaves. Women were excluded. But once proposed, it was an idea that couldn’t be restrained,” he said. “Through it all, these words have gnawed at our conscience and pulled us towards justice.”


“We have a chance to rip the roots of systemic racism out of this country,” Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee, added. “We have a chance to live up to the words that founded this nation.”

The video does not mention President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE by name, but it still offers a sharp contrast with his general election opponent.


The president used his July Fourth speech Friday night at Mount Rushmore to tear into liberal protesters who have called for Confederate statues and other iconography to be taken down, accusing them of trying to “erase” the country’s past. 

“There is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished. Not going to happen to us,” he told a packed crowd.

“Make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence and hunger and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery and progress," he continued. "To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol and memory of our national heritage.”

Later Saturday, Biden will appear at the Essence Festival of Culture to hear from black women, while Trump will host a "Salute to America" event in Washington.

The Trump campaign fired back at Biden, saying Trump is only try to stop demonstrators from "trying to delegitimize our country’s very existence."

“The idea that Biden, with his 40 plus years of DC failure, has any notion or ability to strengthen our union is absurd. Because of political pressure from the left, Biden is forced to agree that America was fundamentally flawed from the beginning and remains so today. By contrast, President Trump is proud of our history and believes strongly in our present greatness. His policies have provided more opportunities for more people than at any other time in America’s existence," said campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh.